Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Did Pope Pius XII Help the Jews? Paperback – September 1, 2007 by Margherita Marchione

Sister Marchione strikes again. Her book titled DID POPE PIUS HELP THE JEWS is a short book, but it is solid. Sister Marchione again cites testimony from Jewish survivors, historical documents (not hysterical media nonsense), and secondary sources many of which were written by Jewish historians on behalf of Pope Pius XII and honest history. This book is a good introduction to the actual courage of Pope Pius XII and brave Catholics who risked their lives helping W.W. II refugees including Jewish refugees.

Rabbi Dalin wrote a book titled THE MYTH OF HITLER'S POPE, and Sister Marchione's book titled DID POPE PIUS XII HELP THE JEWS clarly proves that Pope Pius XII being Hitler's Pope is indeed a myth. Sister Marchione cites Eugenio Pacelli's remarks about Hitler in 1929 in which Eugenio Pacilli (the future Pope Pius XII)condemned Hitler and sounded alarm bells about the future German leaders. Sister Marchione examines the documents of the concordot between the Vatican and the German authorities made in 1933 in an attempt on part of the Vatican to protect the rights of Catholics under the new German government. Eugenio Pacelli not only insisted on the rights of the German Catholics, but as the Vatican Secretary of State, also insisted on the rights of race and religious minorities other than Catholics. The documents are there. Readers should note that when Eugenio Pacelli was elected Pope Pius XII, the Hitler regime registered strong protests and called Pope Pius XII the Jewish Pope because of his earlier condemnation of German race hallucinations.

Sister Marchione also cites the testimony of Jewish refugees who were helped by Pope Pius XII. If Sister Marchione would have cited all examples of such testimony and praise of Jewish survivors who benefitted from Pope Pius's rare courage and compassion, she would have written a five foot book shelf. In the early 1930s when Italian Jews were denied the right to work and prosper, Pope Pius XII did as much as he could to employ many of these people in the Vatican. One outstanding example of Jewish testimony on behalf Pope Pius XII was that of Rabbi Zolli who was the Chief Rabbi of Rome. He was so impressed with Pope Pius XII's undaunted courage and compassion, that Rabbi Zoli converted to Catholicism. Rabbi Zolli has an interesting chapter about this in his book titled BEFORE THE DAWN.

That Pope Pius XII ordered European priests, nuns, bishops, etc. to help refugees including Jewish people is clear. Pius XII ordered cloistered monastaries and convents to open their doors to Jewish refugees. In fact, as Sister Marchione cites, Pope Pius XII personally housed thousands of Jewish refugees in his residence and Vatican property throughout Rome.

As Sister Marchione makes clear, Pope Pius XII ordered Catholic religous authorities throughout Europe including Eastern Europe to do all they could to stop the arrests and deportations of Jewish people. This is a matter of record. In fact, the Hungarian Jewish leader Jeno Levai praised Pope Pius XII in Jeno's book titled HUNGARIAN JEWRY AND THE PAPACY:PIUS XII WAS NOT SILENT.

One problem that Pope Pius XII was his close proximity to Mussolini and Hitler. Catholic bishops and Jewish leaders begged Pope Pius XII to mute his condemnations of the Hitler regime due to retaliation and revenge. Pope Pius XII also knew that Hitler had planned a secret mission to invade the Vatican and remove the Papacy to Lichenstein. In other words, to use the expression, Pope Pius XII had to walk on egg shells. Yet if anyone reads Pope Pius XII's Christmas messages in the early 1940s, they would know that Pope Pius XII did speak out about the brutality of those involved in W.W. II. One only has to resort to the editions of U.S. newspapers in the early 1940s, including THE NEW YORK TIMES, to locate such statements.

Readers should also note that Pope Pius XII spent his own personal fortune in helping refugees including many Jews. The Vatican spent huge sums on rescue efforts and aid to refugees and had to appeal to Catholics throughout the world for donations to contine this work.

Sister Marchione cites documents priests, monks and nuns who repeatedly stated that they acted in part on direct instructions from Pope Pius XII to harbor and care for Jewish refugees. When Pope Pius XII's detractors try to argue that he did not issue such instructions, documents refute such lying. When the future Pope John XXIII was thanked for helping Jewish refugees in Turkey, the future pope reminded his listeners that he was acting on behalf of Pope Pius Xii.

While Pope Pius XII was praised by Christians for his courage and compassion, he was, and is, highly praised by Jewish leaders. Jewish leaders gave Pope Pius XII high praise during his lifetime. Sir Martin Gilbert, who is Jewish, has written extensively about the heroic efforts of Pope Pius XII. Rabbi Dalin has done the same. Bernard Baruch also gave Pope Pius XII such high praise.

While this is a short book, the bibliography in this book will help readers to further investigate the rare courage exhibited by Pope Pius XII. Readers are also encourged to read Siter Marchione's more extensive books such as YOURS IS A PRECIOUS WITNESS, POPE PIUS XII:ARCHITECT FOR PEACE, CONSENSUS AND CONTROVERSY, and CRUSADE FOR CHARITY. Her use of extensive documents is impressive, and she overwhelms Pope Pius XII's detractors with solid historical research and not pop culture nonsense. This reviewer highly recommends this book plus the others mentioned above.

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